top of page

The Leader Is an Achiever: A DiSC Analysis

Pictured: Colonel-General V. I. Chuikov speaking to a group of soldiers, 1948. From the publication titled “Glorified Warriors of the Red Army—Candidates of the People to the Supreme Council of the USSR.”

A popular behavior assessment tool, the DiSC assessment, is based on Dr. William Marston’s theories as well as his publication titled Emotions of Normal People. DiSC assessments are used in organizations with team members to improve communication and cohesion and reduce conflict. Understanding one’s personal DiSC profile is helpful in leadership effectiveness. The letters of DiSC represent the following traits: (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness and (C)onscientiousness.

When participants take the assessment, there are times when their results are a combination of traits. After reviewing various resources focusing on Marshal Chuikov, including his memoirs, speeches, and reflections of those who knew him, it is my assessment that he fits the Di combination profile, which is known as the “Achiever.” Achievers think quickly and are great communicators, and debate and competition are enjoyable activities for them. Many of them become notable leaders due to their "force of nature" personalities. Both empathetic and resolute, they adapt swiftly to different scenarios and act effectively. Moreover, Achievers inspire their teams to accomplish more than previously thought possible, which certainly fits the situation of the 62nd Army Commander and his soldiers in Stalingrad.

When Lieutenant-General Chuikov was appointed to command the 62nd Army, he encountered demoralized troops who were under-supplied and psychologically overwhelmed, with questionable combat effectiveness due to prior ineffective leadership. In his book titled Stalingrad: How the Red Army Triumphed, Michael Jones shares an anecdote about Achiever Vasily Ivanonvich’s immediate effect on his troops. He went about the task of raising his soldiers’ morale quickly—and set the tone for his leadership very early on:

“Feodor Shatravko remembers meeting the newly appointed Commander of the 62nd Army, Vasily Chuikov, at this time. He was part of the so-called ‘northern group’ based around the Stalingrad suburb of Spartanovka, and he accompanied his own commander to Chuikov’s HQ on the Mamaev Kurgan. ‘Chuikov asked us how things were,’ he related. ‘Well, we were honest with him—the mood of the men was terrible because of the drastic shortages in equipment and ammunition. The atmosphere was really ugly.’ […]

For the defending 62nd Army the shortage of supplies was a fearful handicap. A different spirit of leadership was needed to counter it, and to maintain the will to resist. Shatravko recalled personal assurance on the slopes of the Mamaev Kurgan. ‘He spoke to us frankly, in man-to-man fashion. He told us that the present supply situation was completely unacceptable and promised us he would do everything in his power to improve it. We believed him and we felt for the first time that we had a commander who really cared about his soldiers.’”


bottom of page